Facts you may not know about the two famous Brads from Tallahassee

Facts You May Not Know About The Two Famous Brads From Tallahassee

Photo courtesy of Kathy Hutchins via Shutterstock

By Good Info News Wire

March 13, 2024

There’s no denying that Brad’s pretty rad. Now, you may be wondering who exactly Brad is (and, no, we don’t mean your hipster cousin Brad). Ask anyone from Tallahassee, and they’ll most likely provide you one of two answers: the late actor and queer icon Brad Davis or NFL-player-turned-reality-TV-personality Brad Culpepper.

In both cases, these Brads have become TV heroes native Floridians have rooted for for countless years, whether in their favorite movies, sports games, or reality TV series. (That’s right: Culpepper went on to survive in multiple seasons of a cutthroat competition series, if you catch our drift.)

So, whether you’re feeling nostalgic for your favorite Brad Davis movie or want to catch up with Brad Culpepper since he’s been off the airwaves for a few years, we’ve got you covered with some fun facts you may not know about these Tallahassee-born legends.

Brad Davis

Facts you may not know about the two famous Brads from Tallahassee
Photo courtesy of CBS Network.

Fact #1:

Brad Davis wasn’t just a phenomenal actor; he also stood for an important cause in the latter stages of his life. David was diagnosed with AIDS in 1985 and spent the next six years as an activist until his death in 1991. He became a gay icon in many ways, as it wasn’t every day that a man in a heterosexual marriage who boasted such a powerful platform used his voice to bring attention to a disease that was largely affecting the gay community at the time. (To be clear, Davis was bisexual, but his work meant a lot coming from a man in a straight-presenting marriage.) To this day, Susan Bluestein, Davis’ wife, fights to bring increasing awareness to the disease, even partnering with The AIDS Monument to get her late husband’s story out there.

Fact #2:

Brad Davis’ final years were challenging, but he took everything in stride. While he was nervous about how Hollywood would handle this diagnosis, leading him to not disclose it to his producers, he stood for real, genuine happiness in everything he did. Noted by his wife Susan Bluestein in a story she wrote for The AIDS Monument, Davis lived by the motto “Don’t postpone joy.” This is the message Bluestein wants everyone to remember Davis by — and to generally live by. This is also why Davis never stopped working. He continued bringing joy to the masses until the very end.

Fact #3:

While most people know Brad Davis for his films and TV work — and he’s definitely got the resumé to back this adoration — did you know that Davis also acted on Broadway? As if he couldn’t be any more amazing, Davis not only starred in shows like “The Normal Heart” but also portrayed a gay activist working to spread the word about the AIDS epidemic in it. Not many celebrities put their money where their mouth it, but it’s clear that Davis knew his platform mattered.

Fact #4:

Despite his long CV and the love of so many fans and fellow activists, Brad Davis isn’t a widely awarded actor. A year after his death, Davis recevied a GLAAD Media Award for representing queer folks on the screen, but his awards outside of this one are limited. Notably, Davis won a Golden Globe for New Star of the Year in 1979 and a Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor in 1978, both for “Midnight Express.” He lost two Golden Globes and one BAFTA for the same film.

Fact #5:

Brad Davis’ spreading of queer representation extended outside of the United States. International films like “Querelle,” which was produced in France and then-West Germany, see Davis portraying gay men abroad, bringing his brilliant portrayal of yearning to new audiences. Like some of his other films, “Querelle” deals with some darker topics, including sexual assault and drugs, but the film is lauded as being one of the most successful LGBTQ+-centered film releases in France. However, critics are torn on whether it adapts its source material (“Querelle of Brest” by author Jean Genet) well.

Brad Culpepper

Facts you may not know about the two famous Brads from Tallahassee
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Fact #1:

Brad Culpepper’s career at the University of Florida was written in the stars — er, in his genes, really. Culpepper’s father, uncle, and grandfather all attended UF before him, with his father and uncle also holding spots on the Gators’ team as a center and fullback, respectively. Brad would later begin his journey at UF in 1988 — 28 years after his father started his career there — and hold positions like defensive tackle and even team captain.

Fact #2:

Brad Culpepper’s career has taken him both around the United States and around the world. In the U.S., Culpepper played for NFL teams in Chicago, Tampa Bay, and Minnesota, but after retiring from football, his work went global. Pivoting to reality television for two star-studded seasons of “Survivor,” Culpepper first competed on Palaui Island in the Philippines in 2013 (season 27) and then in the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji in 2017 (season 34). The latter season was especially striking because it consisted of the season’s self-titled “Game Changers” — players who elevated their original seasons to new heights. An all-stars season to end all all-stars seasons.

Fact #3:

Brad Culpepper’s a family man, and he showed that on both of his “Survivor” seasons. Fans were quick to wonder why he was wearing items that didn’t reflect any of the teams he played for in the NFL, such as a Syracuse-branded hat. “I’m wearing a Syracuse University hat, because my son’s a quarterback there,” Culpepper told Parade in a 2017 interview, adding that the hat he wore in his first “Survivor” season represented the same son’s — Culpepper has three kids — high school team. It looks like his oldest son, Rex, is following in his footsteps, and it looks like Brad couldn’t be prouder.

Fact #4:

When he’s not competing in hot, sweaty competitions on stunning tropical islands, Brad Culpepper can be found acting as a trial lawyer. Based in Tampa, his firm, Culpepper Kurland, takes on cases for personal injuries, car accidents, and the like, with the firm’s website noting that Culpepper and business partner Brett Kurland “have helped injured Floridians and their families recover hundreds of millions of dollars.” With a son named Judge, Culpepper’s post-NFL career as a lawyer feels all but divine.

Fact #5:

Wildly, Brad Culpepper’s “Survivor” and lawyer careers merged in 2015 when an insurance company sued the former footballer, alleging fraud, after seeing his arduous feats on the competition series. Here’s the breakdown: Culpepper received $175,000 from the insurance company because of pain and issues in his back, but the company brought forth charges after seeing how he seemed to handle the physical challenges of “Survivor” with ease. However, Culpepper maintained his innocence, telling ABC News when the story broke, “I was on pain medication, and I had a back procedure right before [filming ‘Survivor’].” From what we can tell, the case has largely remained in limbo, with courts tossing it back and forth like a football.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

This story was generated in part by AI and edited by The Floricua staff.

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